Reds vs. Nationals prediction and odds for Wednesday, July 5

The Reds don't have any pitching to speak of, but they're offense is enough even against an all-star like Josiah Gray.

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Matt McLain (9)
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Matt McLain (9) / Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds keep winning ball games and after taking the first two from the Washington Nationals in this four-game series they’ll go for the series win on Wednesday.

The Reds are 47-39 and one game clear of Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central. Washington is 34-51 and buried at the bottom of the NL East standings. 

The Reds will look to keep the Nationals down with Graham Ashcraft making his 16th start of the season. Ashcraft is 3-6 with a 6.66 ERA and will be opposed by all-star Josiah Gray. Gray is 6-6 with a 3.30 ERA in his 17 starts for Washington. Can he pitch like an all-star against the upstart Reds and their young bats today?

Let’s get into the odds for the third game of the series:

Reds vs. Nationals odds, run line and total

Reds vs. Nationals prediction and pick

Josiah Gray is ripe for regression. The 25-year-old has a FIP of 4.57 well over a run higher than his ERA and an expected ERA of 4.22. His strikeout rate is below average at 21% and his walk rate is even worse at 10.5% which is 22nd percentile of all pitchers. Gray’s strength is that he doesn’t get hit very hard, but the Reds lineup is too deep for him to navigate it without some timely strikeouts. 

Over the last 30 days the Reds are 20-6, the second best record in baseball over that stretch. The team's pitching staff hasn’t been great and checks in at 25th in ERA for those 26 games, but they have scored the second most runs and have an .828 team OPS. 

Matt McLain hasn’t gotten the attention that Elly De La Cruz has since coming up, but McLain has a .911 OPS with 15 doubles, seven home runs and even four triples. He’s already been worth 1.9 wins above replacement (WAR) in just 45 games. 

The Reds have their core and they’re not slowing down. If they add some pitching then they could run away with the Central division, but even for now they’re getting just enough pitching to let their offense win them games. I love the Reds as a slight favorite even against a so-called all-star pitcher. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change

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